The First Taste of the Motherland

Last week we had the absolute pleasure of spending 3 glorious days in the Santorini sun! Let me first say, if you haven’t already been to this slice of paradise, then get yourself there – you certainly won’t regret a minute of it!

Touching down on the small Island off the coast of Greece, we immediately felt the cabin of the airplane heat up – yes, warmth, finally!! You know that overwhelming feeling of stepping out of an intensely air-conditioned shopping centre into the heat of a mid January Gold Coast day? That was the exact feeling as the doors opened to the steaming tarmac of the Santorini Airport, I mean if you can call it that. It was more Bali International Airport circa 2002 but it did the trick! This little Island is small but it most certainly does not disappoint!

Going to Greece for the first time as a Greek/Australian I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect. It’s exciting to visit the country where your family is from and grew up in even if I wasn’t going to those specific villages. I was so incredibly excited to finally be here and I was not in any way disappointed! From the breathtaking views to the out of this world food, I can honestly say that I could have stayed forever. The island life would suit me just fine – cruising around on my quad bike, eating gyros everyday and just taking in that spectacular view from all angles. Bliss. It was also nice that locals appreciated another Greek. They were pleasantly surprised when I walked into their shop or restaurant and immediately greeted them in Greek. It also helped for getting a few cheeky discounts here and there.

We stayed in the main town of Fira on the west side of the island. You may know it for is breathtaking view …

We stayed in a cute little hotel called Summertime Villa. It wasn’t on the gorgeous Caldera view but it was only a 5 minute walk away with its own private rooftop pool. We ventured into the main town daily for food, shops and to see that beautiful view of the Agean. I think we stayed in the perfect, most central location. No where was more that a 20 minute quad ride away so we got to see pretty much everything.

I think what is great about this island is it really has something for everyone. If you want to relax under an umbrella all day on the beach, you can. If you want to explore every little crevasse, hire yourself some wheels and do it! If you love to shop, eat, drink and dance, there is somewhere different to enjoy every day!

The food was most certainly a highlight! You have the option of eating at the fancier more modern restaurants that put a fusion twist on Greek cooking but personally, get a tzatziki, mousaka and horiatiki salata in front of me and I am set! The best places were the Tavernas. Authentic and wholesome Greek food that packed all the flavour without a hefty price tag – perfection. The taverns are mostly family run so for me, I got a real sense of eating with my own family.

Another very well known part of the island for it’s spectacular views is Oia which is in the north part of the island. We went for a glorious sunset and of course a meal. We could immediately tell that this area was a little more ritzy than old Fira. With tiled walkways and freshly painted buildings, it was very obvious why staying in this part of town would cost you a bit more. Everything seemed to be a little more expensive here, from the fashion and novelty stores to the restaurant prices, you would need a bit more in the travel fund if you wanted to spend most of your time here. For an afternoon stroll and a sunset dinner though, it was very picturesque and well worth the short strip.

I cannot wait to get back to this gorgeous island. I felt so at home in the heat and amongst the Greeks, it was a much needed breath of fresh air from the wet gloom of the UK. This is definitely a tick off of my bucket list but if it isn’t already on yours, please do yourself a favour. Santorini is positively magical and will take your breathe away just like it did mine.

S xx